Nest: Practical Beauty

Designer Rebecca Ward faced a challenge: to make a Granite Bay home both glamorous and dog-proof.
copper penny interior designer Rebecca Ward
Copper penny round tiles and a rustic-looking vessel sink make a statement in the bathroom.

When a couple from Carmel approached interior designer Rebecca Ward about a makeover for a second home they’d purchased in Granite Bay to be closer to their grandson on the weekends, she didn’t balk at the challenge.

The property had its quirks, to be sure, but the 3.4-acre setup was ideal for the homeowners, who train retired race dogs. “It was unique because a contractor had originally built it and housed a lot of his large equipment on-site, so there was a lot of garage area, something like 10 spaces,” explains Ward. “And there is a guesthouse in addition to the main house, and they were all kind of attached to each other.”

master bedroom
In the principal bedroom, Ward went with a custom metal headboard from Wildwood Customs & Metalworks. Bedside pendants make the most of the room’s tall ceilings.

Ward converted one of the garages to living space, then set out to unify the home with a soothing palette of blues and grays. “I wanted to make sure the interiors stayed light even with those colors, so natural light was very important,” says Ward.

home office
The landing of a loft space is the perfect place to tuck away a small office. Ward chose an eye-catching patterned carpet and apricot walls to complement the sea of blues and grays throughout the home.

With four large dogs sharing the abode, durable finishes throughout was a must. “The owner was pretty emphatic about having engineered bamboo flooring throughout because she had it in her other house. She felt it held up well against the dogs’ nails and was easy to maintain,” says Ward. “That was the first finish we selected, and then we worked off of that.”

Furnishings throughout the residence are covered in durable, unfussy fabrics, making them easy to clean regardless of how many pets or kids they come into contact with. “The dogs go everywhere, and the husband wanted to be able to sit in his chair and pet them while he watched TV, so keeping things casual was key,” says Ward.

Flat-fronted cherry wood cabinets are a practical choice in the kitchen, while the shimmery backsplash makes a chic statement. “It’s not a full-time kitchen, but the homeowner wanted a place that felt light and airy,” says Ward.

That doesn’t mean the house isn’t infused with a bit of glamour. Although the homeowners favor a somewhat industrial aesthetic, Ward made sure to introduce some softer, more feminine elements throughout. The mother-of-pearl penny round tiles used in the kitchen backsplash, for example, have “a bit of shimmer that dresses up the space,” Ward says. In the living room, the antique mirror panels on the sideboard bring some sparkle to what would typically be an unadorned piece of furniture.

Blue glass tiles and a copper-flecked quartz countertop are elegant contrasts to the industrial-style sinks.

“The homeowners wanted a place that felt inviting and not too serious since this isn’t their everyday home; it’s a place they go to relax and spend time with family,” says Ward. “I am pleased that we were able to achieve that.”

living room design by Rebecca Ward
Ward kept furnishings casual throughout the home, including the living room. “We made sure not to use a glass table here in case they wanted to put their feet up,” she says.